George Floyd’s death TRANSCRIPT: 6/4/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests:
Muriel Bowser
Transcript:

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, “ALL IN”: Yes, that I think is the question, where

you set that level particularly at a moment we`re about to go through some

really brutal austerity, unfortunately, unless things change in cities and

states across the country.

 

Redditt Hudson, it`s always great to hear your very particular insight.

Thank you very much, sir.

 

REDDITT HUDSON: Good to see you again.

 

HAYES: That is “ALL IN” this evening.

 

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

 

Good evening, Rachel.

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend.

 

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

 

This is what the nation`s capital looked like today. The statue of Dr.

Martin Luther King towering over protests against the police killing of

George Floyd. Look at that shot. It`s incredible.

 

It was more than 90 degrees in Washington, D.C. today, and humid. One

reporter for “USA Today” said they saw people being treated for heat stroke

on the walk from the White House over to the MLK Memorial. But even in

those conditions, there were tons of people there anyway to protest.

 

People got on one knee while the names of African Americans who died in

police custody were read over the loudspeaker. Today marks the tenth day of

the nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd, by police in

Minneapolis. Today, the police officers who were there, while he died, were

arraigned in court.

 

Yes, huge crowds are still coming out in the major American cities, in

Philly, today, in Los Angeles, in Austin, in Houston, in Pittsburgh,

Pennsylvania, today, there was a huge die-in, which is very eerie and

powerful way to protest.

 

But it wasn`t only good-sized cities today. It was all over. Look, this was

Mountain Brook, Alabama, today. And more than 500 people turned out in

mountain brook, Alabama today, to protest George Floyd`s killing. Mountain

Brook, Alabama, is a town that is 90 percent white.

 

This was Grand Forks, North Dakota, today. A group of protesters, again,

more than 500 people deep, chanting George Floyd`s name on their march to

the courthouse in Grand Forks. This was St. Petersburg, Florida, today,

about 100 people on their, lying on their stomachs in the position in which

George Floyd was killed, and they`re chanting “I can`t breathe, I can`t

breathe”.

 

This was Merrick, New York, today in the suburbs of New York City. The

sound track you`re hearing is car horns honking in pour as the protests in

Merrick passes the local train station there.

 

In the nation`s largest city, in New York City, today, thousands of people

held a memorial for George Floyd in a park in Brooklyn, and there`s one

amazing moment that you should see.

 

George Floyd`s brother Terence got up to speak to the crowd, and as he came

up to the lectern, he took a few moments to compose himself, breathing

heavily, taking in the size of the crowd, seemed a little bit overwhelmed.

And the crowd was quiet for a long time, but then somebody said, we got

you, and somebody else said we love you, and then this surged up from the

rear of the crowd. Like this roar, this crowd of thousands of people

chanting to him, you are not alone.

 

After the memorial and the vigil there, they marched into Brooklyn. From

Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan.

 

So we`re going to keep our eyes on New York this evening, America`s largest

cities, in its third night of curfew. We`re keeping particular focus right

now on the Bronx where we`re hearing reports right now that the police have

been aggressive in this early evening, they have been making arrests among

a group of peaceful protests, again, that is a scene that we are watching

right now in the Bronx, we`re going to keep you updated as the situation

develops there.

 

We are also seeing large crowds coast to coast tonight. I think we`ve got a

live shot here of Seattle on the left, that`s Atlanta on the right. But for

most of the day today, our eyes have been on Minneapolis, where George

Floyd died. Today was the memorial service for him held in the city where

he was killed by police.

 

In terms of the scene at the memorial, there were stickers on the ground,

outside the service, marking out areas for people to stand, urging

everybody who came out to practice social distancing. But the crowd was

just packed. Thousands of people in the streets, people in mourning. They

knelt when his hearse drove by, when his casket arrived at the memorial,

Minneapolis`s police chief and police sergeant also knelt on the ground and

bowed their heads. It`s a remarkable scene today outside George Floyd`s

memorial in Minneapolis.

 

But inside, what happened during the service just knocked the wind out of

you. Reverend Al Sharpton, had the honor of delivering the George Floyd

eulogy, at the memorial this afternoon. And I don`t know if you had the

chance it see this today. I know everybody`s daily schedules are still

strange between working from home, or potentially being out at protests, or

Zooming with your boss, or trying to teach your kids algebra that you don`t

quite remember.

 

So I don`t know, you may have seen like a clip of this on Twitter, you may

have caught a highlight on the 6:00 news, but you should see it for what it

was in total. So I`m going to play a – basically, I`m going to play the

eulogy for you. I want to warn you there was some instance of some

difficult language, but we would not be playing this for you tonight if we

didn`t think this was worth watching.

 

Just take a minute. Pause what else you are doing. Just watch this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, “POLITICS NATION”: Let me ask those of you

that, in the traditions of eulogies, need a scriptural reference, go to

Ecclesiastes third chapter, first verse, says to everything there is a

time, and a purpose, and season, under the heavens.

 

I`m going to leave it there. I saw somebody standing in front of a church

the other day, that had been boarded up, as a result of violence. Held the

bible in his hand. I`ve been preaching since I was a little boy. I`ve never

seen anyone hold the bible like that, but I leave that alone.

 

But since he held the bible, if he`s watching us today, I would like him to

open that bible, and I`d like him to read Ecclesiastes 3. To every season,

there`s a time and a purpose.

 

And I think that it is our job to let the world know when we see what is

going on in the streets of this country, and in Europe, around the world,

that you need to know what time it is.

 

First of all, we cannot use bibles as a prop. And for those that have

agendas that are not about justice, this family will not let you use George

as a prop.

 

George Floyd`s story has been the story of black folks, because ever since

401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of

being, is you kept your knee on our neck.

 

We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had

your knee on our neck. We could run corporations, and not hustle in the

street, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could

do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn`t get your knee off our

neck.

 

What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in

health services, and in every area of American life. It`s time for us to

stand up in George`s name and say, get your knee off our necks.

 

The reason why we`re marching all over the world is we would were like

George, we couldn`t breathe, not because it was something wrong with our

lungs, but that you wouldn`t take your knee off our neck. We don`t want no

favors. Just get up off of us. And we can be, and do whatever we can be.

 

But I`m more hopeful today than ever. Why? Well, we`ll go back, Reverend

Jackson always taught, stay on your text. Go back to the text of

Ecclesiastes, there is a time and a season.

 

And when I looked this time, and saw marchers were in some cases young

whites, outnumbered the blacks marching, I know that is a different time,

and a different season. When I looked and saw people in Germany marching

for George Floyd, it`s a different time and a different season. When they

went in front of the parliament in London, England, and said it`s a

different time and a different season, I`ve come to tell you, America, this

is the time of dealing with accountability in the criminal justice system.

 

Steven, here`s the goal. I want to march. Now, I remember, young white

lady, looked me right in the face, and said, nigger, go home. But when I

was here last Thursday, and I was headed back to the airport, I stopped

near the police station, and as I was talking to a reporter, a young white

girl, she didn`t look no older than 11 years old, she tagged my suit jacket

and I looked around and I braced myself, and she looked at me said, and

said, no justice, no peace.

 

It`s a different time. It`s a different season.

 

And if my bible-carrying guy in front of that boarded up church, if I got

him to open up the bible, I want you to remember something, you know I was

late last October, to an appointment, because the time changed. And I was

still, my watch was on the wrong time. And there was a year that time goes

forward and if you don`t move your watch, you`re going to find yourself an

hour late, not because your watch was wrong, but you had your watch on the

wrong time.

 

Well, I come to tell you that sitting in Washington, talking about

militarizing your country, thinking that you can sell Wolf tickets to

people who`s had enough of abuse, I come to tell you, you can get on the

TV, but you are on the wrong time.

 

Time is out for not holding you accountable. Time is out for you making

excuses. Time is out for you trying to stall. Time is out for empty words

and empty promises. Time is out for you filibustering and trying to stall

the arm of justice.

 

This is the time. We won`t stop. We will keep going until we change the

whole system of justice.

 

Our organizations have called this a day of mourning. NAACP, the National

Urban League, Legal Defense Fund, Black Women`s Roundtable, Lawyers`

Committee, all got together, said we will have a day of mourning.

 

But then, we are going to come out of this day of mourning, because that,

experts, Sherrilyn Ifill and others that know the legal field, they`ve

outlined a legal process that we must enforce, everything from residency,

to dealing with police background, and not being hit. We talked to Governor

Andrew Cuomo today in New York, he says we got to change 58 with the

background stop of policemen, we need to find when they stop you, they can

find out everything you ever did. Why don`t we know when policemen have a

pattern?

 

We got to go back to consent decrees. Under the Obama administration, they

had put certain cities with patterns and practice under consistent decrees.

With Jamal Brown, in Baltimore, that they put it under constant decree, one

of the first thing that happened in the next administration was they

stopped the consent decrees. We have specific policies that need to happen.

 

Therefore, I`m glad Martin III is here today, because on August 28, the

57th anniversary of the march on Washington, we are going to back to

Washington, Martin. That`s where your father stood in the shadows of the

Lincoln Memorial. And said I have a dream.

 

Well, we`re going to back this August 28th, to restore and recommit that

that dream, to stand up, because just like in one era, we had to fight

slavery, another era, we had to fight Jim Crow, another era, we dealt with

voting rights, this is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice,

we need to go back to Washington, and stand up, black, white, Latino, Arab,

in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them, this is the time to stop this.

 

We, Martin and I talked about this, getting the faith leaders together,

Randy White, about the labor leaders, oh, no, we`re going to organize in

the next couple of months, in every region. Not only for a march but for

due process and it will be led by the Floyd family. And it`s going to be

led by the Garner family. And it`s going to be led by those families that

have suffered this, and knows the pain, and knows what it is, to be

neglected.

 

And it is going to be getting us ready to vote, not just for who is going

to be in the White House, but the state house, and the city councils, that

allow these policing measures to go unquestioned. We are going to change

the time. I know that years ago, we told, Reverend Jackson told us, keep

hope alive. And I know that President Obama wrote a book about hope.

 

But I want you to know that in my life, there`s times that I lost hope.

Things can happen like this that will dash your hope. But as something that

is sister to hope, called faith, faith is the substance of things, hoped

for, the evidence of things unseen.

 

Faith is when you got a pile of bills and no money. But you say he will

provide all of my needs. Faith is when you got no medicine in the cabinet,

and you`re sick in your body but you say he`s a doctor that never lost a

patient. And he`ll dry tears from my eyes.

 

Faith is when your friends walk out, when your loved ones turn their back,

but you say I don`t believe he brought me this far to leave me now. We

didn`t come this far by luck. We didn`t come this far by some faith. We

come this far by faith. Leaning on the Lord, trusting in his holy word, he

never, he never, he never failed me yet, from the out house to the White

House, we come a long way, God will, God shall, God will, God always has,

he`ll make a way for his children.

 

Go on home, George. Get your rest, George. You changed the world, George.

 

We`re going to keep marching, George. We`re going to keep fighting, George.

We don`t turn the clock, George. We`re going forward, George. Time out,

time out, time out.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: You changed the world, George. A different time. A different

season.

 

The Reverend Al Sharpton delivering a eulogy for the ages today, at the

memorial service today in Minneapolis, for George Floyd.

 

At the end of that eulogy, what happened in that memorial is that Reverend

Sharpton asked people to stand in silence, in very painful, very tearful

silence, for eight minutes and 46 seconds for the length of time that the

officer who has now been arrested for George Floyd`s murder had his knee on

Mr. Floyd`s neck as he died.

 

That was what happened inside the service.

 

Two miles away from today`s memorial service, in Minneapolis, was another

gathering at the actual intersection, the actual site where George Floyd

died. The audio of today`s service and Reverend Al`s eulogy was piped in

over speakers so protesters and mourners could listen in live.

 

That memorial service today was the first of what will be a series of

events honoring George Floyd, including one in North Carolina, on Saturday,

where he was born, another one a public viewing in Houston, Texas, which is

where he grew up, and then there will be a private funeral the following

day, we believe that former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend

that.

 

Meanwhile, tonight, the tenth night of protests continue in cities all

across the country. No sign of any of this stopping any time soon. Of

course not. Why would it?

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GARRETT HAAKE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDETN: Today, you can see another

significant federal law enforcement presence here, and what`s really been

kind of a stunning militarization of city streets in Washington, D.C. These

officers are federal law enforcement of some variety. I would love to tell

you more but they`re not wearing any identifying badges, and insignias and

nameplates. They won`t tell me where they`re from or who they`re with.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: When other country does this, in other overseas invasions that they

don`t want to call invasions, we call these little green men. People who

are in military or paramilitary garb and serving that function, but nobody

owns them. Nobody says who they are. Nobody admits who they are.

 

The protests against the killing of George Floyd have continued for another

day, for a seventh straight day in D.C. It`s not just the D.C. National

Guard that`s been patrolling the streets and D.C. cops. It`s not even just

the National Guard troops from ten other states that aren`t dc that the

White House flew in.

 

There is also this strange other force on the streets. Law enforcement

officers maybe, at least it seems like they`re law enforcement officers.

Wearing no identifying insignia for any law enforcement agency, no name

badges, and in many case, even when they`re asked by protesters or the

press, they will not say who they are or who pays them.

 

Take these guys in helmets and tactical vests, a reporter asked who they

were with, they would say only the Department of Justice, which is not

really an answer. It`s not like there is a generic department of justice

police force that explains that.

 

Another reporter asked this group of gentlemen, in riot gear, if they were

with the Bureau of Prisons, which is one of the federal agencies that has

deployed some officers in Washington. They responded to that question with

one word. Quote. Maybe.

 

Maybe we`re with the Bureau of Prisons. That`s cute.

 

I mean, how do we know that these people are who they say they are at all?

If they`ll say anything at all. We just take their word for it that they`re

with the Department of Justice or maybe the Bureau of Prisons?

 

And why are these guys wearing no badges, nameplates, no insignias? How

does that help them in what they`re doing in the streets? I mean, there is

a reason a police officer who has the power to stop you, detain you, use

physical force against you, there is a reason that a police officer has a

badge number and name in plain sight.

 

The only reason an officer would take those identifying markings off is to

avoid accountability for what they`re doing, right? If they do anything

wrong, it makes it a deniable offense, not just by them personally, if you

can pick them out of a lineup, but also by anybody who might potentially be

held accountable for having ordered that offensive or injurious or illegal

action against you.

 

If these are just randomly unidentifiable people with no names, and no

agencies associated with them, what do you do if they violate your right or

hurt you? How do you know who did it? How do you know who issued their

orders?

 

But the other and honestly darker prospect here, even darker than

apparently federal law enforcement, being deployed in this fashion, against

Americans in American streets, even darker prospect here is this. I mean,

who is to say these guys are law enforcement?

 

What`s to distinguish these unidentified supposedly federal forces from

random self motivated guys with guns who wants to come down to these

protests and play civil war as private citizens, or just hang out in D.C.

with their military style weaponry and their off the shelf tactical gear? I

mean, especially in the middle of a big rowdy protest, how are you going to

tell the difference between unidentified, unnamed badged federal officers

and say this guy, who showed up at a protest in Coeur d`Alene, Idaho,

today, with a gun bigger than him and two more strapped to his back and his

side.

 

Or how about this guy who decided to have heavily armed traffic control at

a protest in Casper, Wyoming. Just his own say-so, just an average guy with

a gun stopping you in the street.

 

Or how about these rambos who showed up at a rally in New Mexico, in their

words, to, quote, protect people. I mean, one of these guys shoot you,

we`re supposed to fall back on well, hey, maybe he was a cop? Maybe he was

a soldier? Maybe he was but who knows maybe he was some random self

motivated P.E. teacher with a Reddit account and a big weird gun

collection, just submit to their authority, try not to get shot by them,

and if you do?

 

I mean, this week, one public official in an absolutely uniquely difficult

position to deal with this kind of bizarre mystery use of force and show of

force against American civilians is the mayor of our nation`s capital, who

has had to contend with large protests, lots of mayors have. But she`s

also, on top of that, had to contend with a growing and increasingly

inexplicable federal security presence in her city streets while also being

the target herself of White House vitriol.

 

Joining us now is the mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser.

 

Madam Mayor, thank you so much for making time tonight. I know you have a

million things on your plate.

 

MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER (D), WASHINGTON, D.C.: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you. I

appreciate it.

 

MADDOW: Let me ask you about what I just described in terms of the federal

forces in the streets of D.C. and what strikes me as strange and worrying

about them. I have to ask if you have a different perspective on them, if

you and your team in D.C. city government have more of a sense of who these

armed men are, and why they`re not wearing any identifying information?

 

BOWSER: No, we have the same reaction as you do. And many Americans might

wonder how it is that this could be happening in America.

 

And when you look at the nation`s capital, know we are very unique. We are

the nation`s capital, a federal district and not a state. We`re 700,000

people that pay taxes. Yet we don`t have two senators or full autonomy.

 

And so, because of our lack of statehood, the federal government can

encroach on – on our city streets in the name of protecting federal

assets. And so, that`s – that`s what`s been done here. I think it`s

unprecedented that states troopers from other states have been brought into

the district, and these unnamed other federal police officers.

 

And you make a very good point. We know some of the agencies who are here,

we don`t know why they don`t have any identifying marks, and none of them

should be armed.

 

MADDOW: Do you know what the command structure is? There has been open

source reporting and William Barr, the attorney general, commented on it a

little bit at his press conference at the Department of Justice, saying

that the president had asked him to be in charge of these sort of policing

and/or paramilitary forces, including some of them that he fully admitted

were outside the Justice Department and outside any of the subsequent –

any of its subsidiary agencies.

 

Do you know what the command structure is in terms of who these forces

answer to?

 

BOWSER: Well, I think that there is – there may be some confusion among

the federal agencies. We think that Attorney General Barr has been

designated by the president to – to be the leader of the federal forces in

Washington. But let me also be clear, we – I don`t want them to be

confused with our police department, the Metropolitan Police Department,

4,000 strong, that reports to Chief Newsham, who reports directly to me.

 

So, we are policing our city streets. The feds are focused on their federal

assets, except they grow and they have grown. And they`re moving around in

these ominous outfits, and vehicles, including helicopters and Humvees.

 

MADDOW: I know that tonight is your first night in several days without a

curfew in place in D.C.

 

BOWSER: Yes.

 

MADDOW: Madam Mayor, can you just tell us – you`ve been through so much in

your tenure as mayor, and you know the history of D.C. I know you`re the

fourth or fifth generation D.C. yourself in terms of your family.

 

BOWSER: Yes.

 

MADDOW: How serious do you think the crisis is right now in Washington?

Both in terms of the protest, but in terms of the response to them and the

way the federal government is treating your city right now. How different -

- how much more serious is this than the kinds of things that D.C. is used

to having to cope with?

 

BOWSER: Well, we have to suffer the indignity of not having two senators

every day in Washington, D.C. and what that means is we don`t have two

people fighting for resources for us, and we`ve seen the effects of that

during COVID. No one can remember, however, when even our limited home role

has been challenged by the federal government, especially with something so

important as policing. And that`s what we`ve experienced over the last

week.

 

And while that is a concern for us, certainly, and we`re fighting back at

every level, Rachel, it should be a concern for every American, because

they`re moving on us hard and strong right now. But I think – and he`s

even said that this is practice. So who is next?

 

So we need to watch these tactics and make sure that he`s pushing down on

us now, and we`re pushing back hard, and every American needs to be

concerned about that, and be with us because who`s to say that it won`t be

– it won`t be another state next.

 

MADDOW: Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C. – Madam Mayor, again, you

have so much on your plate right now. Thank you for helping us understand

what`s going on in your great city. Thank you.

 

BOWSER: Thank you. Thank you.

 

MADDOW: All right. We`ve got much more ahead here tonight. Do stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: What the president did, the peaceful protesters that

were disbursed with tear gas, he then walked across the street to the

church, was that the right thing to do?

 

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I didn`t really see it.

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: Senator Portman, do you think what we saw last night at

the White House –

 

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): I`m late for lunch –

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: Senator McConnell, was what the president did last night

the right thing to do?

 

Was clearing the protesters an abuse of power? I`m sorry?

 

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): I don`t have any comment. Thank you.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: Walk away. Late for lunch. No comment. Thank you.

 

Raise hands. Shake head. Look down.

 

Today, we saw the same dynamic play out with a new question to Republican

senators, apparently this one just as much of a stumper. Today, the

question was about the rebuke of President Trump`s recent actions from

former military leaders, most notably a respected former Defense Secretary

James Mattis, and that was the cue of course for everyone to look busy,

quick come up with something not to say. Let`s roll tape.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: General Mattis, he talked about a threat to the

Constitution. Do you agree?

 

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): I haven`t – I haven`t seen it.

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: General Mattis has said that the president is a threat

to the Constitution.

 

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-N): Can I get you on the way out?

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: The president and General Mattis –

 

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): I can`t. I`ve got a phone call I`ve got to

get to.

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: OK.

 

SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): I`m focused on issues of real freedom, like China`s

human rights violations, and Hong Kong, and their concentration camps, full

of Uyghur Muslims.

 

NBC NEWS REPORTER: Can you comment as a member of a critical committee, can

you comment about General Mattis?

 

General Mattis has some really harsh –

 

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): I haven`t read it yet. So I wouldn`t be helpful

in answering it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: Haven`t read it. Got a phone call to get to. Couldn`t possibly be

helpful. You want to talk about China?

 

Republican lawmakers doing literally anything to avoid discussing what

transpired in the nation`s capital this week and the horrified reaction to

it, including from top military leaders.

 

But even as any Republicans clip clop in the other direction, a few voices

are starting to speak out from inside the party and maybe those voices are

getting a little bit louder? Maybe?

 

Joining us now is a former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt who I must

tell you has been absolutely incandescent in his criticism of the

president.

 

Steve, thank you for making time to be here tonight. I feel like I really

need to hear you on this. I have been wanting to hear where you are at on

all of this stuff.

 

So thanks for making time to be here.

 

STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good evening. Good to be with

you, Rachel.

 

The –

 

MADDOW: General John Allen –

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

MADDOW: I`m sorry, go ahead.

 

SCHMIDT: I think it is an astonishing scene of political cowardice at the

Senate lunch, each one coming by, I don`t know, I don`t know, I don`t know,

the former secretary of defense, in a legendary retired Marine Corps four-

star general, said that the president of the United States is a threat to

the American Constitution, what prompted him to speak out.

 

Well, what happened is that there was a group of Americans in front of the

north lawn of the White House, on the street, peacefully protesting,

exercising their rights, under the first amendment to the constitution of

the United States, to peacefully assemble, to petition their government,

and to speak. And what was loosed against them was state-sanctioned

violence.

 

Those peaceful protesters were assaulted by law enforcement, so Donald

Trump could walk across the street, and commit an act of sacrilege holding

a bible upside down to look strong in front of the church of presidents

because he felt humiliated from his cowardice and allowing himself to be

evacuated from the Oval Office to the bunker, the Presidential Emergency

Operations Center. So this is a low moment and a dangerous hour in this

country.

 

And for your previous segment, Rachel, we don`t have secret police in the

United States of America. These protests are about racial justice, and

about the fact that too many of us are not equally treated under the law.

But now, an essential part of this story is understanding who are these

men.

 

We don`t have secret police. These men need badges. They need

identification. The American people have a right to know who is funding

them, their chain of command and who they report to.

 

And this idea that the attorney general of the United States has suddenly

become an interior minister, and a thugocracy with a private militia of

some type that reports to him is antithetical to every precept of American

democracy and that`s before we get to the threats of the president

threatening the American people with the deployment of most lethal combat

force in world history, to the streets of the nation that they swear to

protect.

 

Military in this country serves the nation, not a man.

 

MADDOW: Steve, on the issue of the use of active duty U.S. troops against

Americans, in American streets, we`ve seen a couple of interesting dynamic.

We have seen General Mattis, General John Allen, Admiral Mike Mullen,

apparently General Dempsey, former general of the joint chiefs who are

going to speak out tomorrow in an interview on NPR`s “Morning Edition” in

the morning, we have seen all of these senior retired military officials,

including some who serve very recently in the highest levels of the Trump

administration, speak out, and say the president shouldn`t be doing this.

 

At the same time, you`ve got the current defense secretary, Mark Esper,

apparently completely flummoxed by the functioning of his own mouth, having

no idea that he was participating in these political acts with the

president, that he was putting the Defense Department`s imprimatur on what

the president was doing with what you just described in terms of that walk

to St. John`s Church, and there`s been a reversal and then a reversal, and

then another reversal in terms of whether or not these troops from Ft.

Bragg are actually deploying into the streets of D.C., I feel very

concerned by the distance from the sort of principled stance being taken by

former military leaders, and this chaos and dithering and confusion that

we`re seeing from people who are actually in control who ought to be

telling the president “no” when he asks them to do these things.

 

SCHMIDT: You should be concerned. And we shouldn`t underestimate the

importance of all of these former four-star officers speaking out. These

four-star officers, by custom and tradition, are loathed to speak out on

political matters. They don`t want to get involved. And they consider it

part of their duty even in retirement to maintain the apolitical nature of

the U.S. military.

 

And there is very significant peer pressure, for example, when a retired

general like Michael Flynn goes out and as political as he was, he is

rebuked by a lot of those colleagues.

 

Now, they`re speaking out because they feel honor-bound to protect the

integrity and the honor of the United States military for Donald Trump. The

secretary of defense has badly bumbled and stumbled his way through this.

And he compromised, through his complicit appearance, with the president,

saying, hey, I didn`t know where I was going.

 

Bottom line is, this is a man who is in charge of the most powerful

military in the world. And we shouldn`t hold him to a standard that we

wouldn`t allow for a 19-year-old infantry private, if he lost his rifle, or

said to his sergeant, I didn`t know where I was going. It`s just

unacceptable.

 

So the secretary of defense has compromised the integrity of the U.S.

military, whether it`s an act of omission – a sin of omission, or a sin of

commission, it doesn`t matter. He needs to be prepared to resign to

maintain the independence of the United States military from the political

machinations of the White House. There is no earthly reason why the world`s

deadliest combat troops should be deployed to American streets.

 

That`s why these retired officers are speaking out. This is an ill-liberal

exercise by the president of the United States, who has had this jonesing

since the moment he came into office to show that he is a tough guy and a

strong man. But these are the tactics of Putin and Erdogan.

 

Again, the military serves the nation. It doesn`t serve Trump. This is the

province of law enforcement, and of the National Guard.

 

Active duty combat units of the active forces of the United States have no

business being put into a domestic law enforcement situation. It`s not

their purpose. It will undermine the strength of the military and the

American citizens moral connection to the most admired institution in the

country.

 

MADDOW: Former senior Republican strategist Steve Schmidt – Steve, my

friend, thank you. It has been too long since you`ve been here on this

program and since I`ve seen you. Thanks for making time to be here tonight.

 

All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Also, there is a lag in the numbers, remember.

Some people protesting last night will get infected. You don`t find out

today, you don`t find out tomorrow, you don`t find out the next day.

 

It can be four or five days before until any symptoms show. Symptoms may

never show, right? Asymptomatic transfer.

 

So if you had a viral spread through these protests, we`re not going to see

it in the numbers for a while. And in the meantime, we are making all of

these decisions on reopening. So it`s important that people act responsibly

for themselves. You went to a protest, get a test.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: You went to a protest, get a test. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

speaking today.

 

The delayed reaction he`s talking about, the lag before you get the numbers

that show when everyone got infected, and then the lag after infection,

before people get sick and turn up in the hospital, that lag time, that

sequencing also drove a stark warning, kind of pull the fire alarm moment

today in the great state of Utah.

 

For context here, this is what is going on in Utah right now. This is their

daily newly confirmed coronavirus case numbers right now, which as you can

see are skyrocketing.

 

Well, here`s Utah`s state epidemiologist today saying this graph is not a

typo, this is not because of just increased testing or something. She`s

saying in Utah, we are in trouble.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DR. ANGELA DUNN, UTAH STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST: This past week, we`ve had a

sharp spike in cases. And it`s not explained easily by a single outbreak or

increase in testing. This is a statewide trend.

 

We started loosening restrictions about three to four weeks ago, and we

knew that this would likely increase cases in Utah. So we can expect that

this increase in cases will result in an increase of hospitalizations in

about a week. So it`s really important for us to see the leading metric in

cases and take action accordingly to prevent overwhelming our hospitals.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP0

 

MADDOW: Utah`s state epidemiologist today warning that that state`s case

numbers are shooting up statewide so rapidly right now after they opened up

the state a few weeks ago that the state needs to act now to stop the

state`s hospitals from being overwhelmed.

 

Again, this is the Utah case numbers graph right now. And there are a

number of states that look like that right now.

 

Today in Congress, CDC Director Robert Redfield testified that he`s, quote,

“very concerned that the American people don`t seem to be heeding the CDC`s

warnings about how serious this is.” He specifically singled out how he

doesn`t see nearly enough people in masks when he comes to work in the

Trump administration in D.C.

 

Huh. Yeah, I wonder why that is, what the leadership is that`s leading to

that.

 

But as a country our case numbers are still stuck at something like 20,000

new cases a day. Our national daily death toll is actually rising back up

again after having come down. Our most populous states, California and

Texas, have case number graphs that look like near sides of the Matterhorn

right now.

 

Florida today just had its new record of the largest number of new cases

reported in a single day. States like Utah, also states like Arizona are

pulling the fire alarm in terms of how rapidly their case numbers are

rising right now and how rapidly their hospitals are filling.

 

In the American south, take a gander across the south. Look at the

Carolinas, Arkansas, Mississippi, this is not good, what`s going on right

now. And the White House of course does not want to talk about the epidemic

and the fact that they are basically walking away from the botched

coronavirus federal response as if this is over and it`s all fixed.

 

But what`s really happening right now with the epidemic is not good. We

really are at 108,000 Americans dead as of tonight and counting. And it`s

getting rapidly worse in a whole bunch of states all at once. The federal

government not working on it anymore isn`t going to turn that around, no

matter how much they don`t want to talk about it.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW: As we keep eyes on multiple ongoing protests across the country

tonight, that`s going to do it for this hour. But our ongoing live coverage

continues.

 

We`re going to hand it over to “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.

 

Good evening, Lawrence.

 

                                                                                                               

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